Regional Lung Ventilation Analysis Using Temporally Resolved Magnetic Resonance Imaging

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Abstract

Objective

We propose a computer-aided method for regional ventilation analysis and observation of lung diseases in temporally resolved magnetic resonance imaging (4D MRI).

Methods

A shape model–based segmentation and registration workflow was used to create an atlas-derived reference system in which regional tissue motion can be quantified and multimodal image data can be compared regionally. Model-based temporal registration of the lung surfaces in 4D MRI data was compared with the registration of 4D computed tomography (CT) images. A ventilation analysis was performed on 4D MR images of patients with lung fibrosis; 4D MR ventilation maps were compared with corresponding diagnostic 3D CT images of the patients and 4D CT maps of subjects without impaired lung function (serving as reference).

Results

Comparison between the computed patient-specific 4D MR regional ventilation maps and diagnostic CT images shows good correlation in conspicuous regions. Comparison to 4D CT-derived ventilation maps supports the plausibility of the 4D MR maps. Dynamic MRI-based flow-volume loops and spirograms further visualize the free-breathing behavior.

Conclusions

The proposed methods allow for 4D MR-based regional analysis of tissue dynamics and ventilation in spontaneous breathing and comparison of patient data. The proposed atlas-based reference coordinate system provides an automated manner of annotating and comparing multimodal lung image data.

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